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The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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Chick-un! [Mar. 17th, 2007|12:16 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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Very quick, easy and tasty. Can be sized up or down.
If you're trying to cut out fat and you don't mind the sour cream "splitting" and going a bit weird in this dish then use lite or fat-free, otherwise full-fat is best. I'm about to try a variation using extra light spreadable Philadelphia cheese, will see how that goes.

Creamy Chicken Paprika

(one serve)

1 chicken breast fillet (about 150g)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 chicken stock cube
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 tbs tomato paste
100g chopped capsicum (I use half red/half green for variety if I can be bothered)

Cut chicken into strips. Combine stock cube, water, paprika and tomato paste in a wok or saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the chicken. Reduce the heat and add the capsicum and sour cream. Simmer for 3 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Vital Statistics:
Calories: 375 
Protein: 37g
Fat: 22g
Carbs: 10g

(with lite Philly instead of sour cream:
Calories: 268   
Protein: 41.6g
Fat: 6.7g  
Carbs: 11.7g)

Edit: Yup, Light Philly works very well, better in fact than light sour cream and with a better nutrition profile. Do it!
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Frozen Vegetables [Mar. 1st, 2007|04:12 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss


  •  Often actually fresher than what you may buy as "fresh" vegetables at a supermarket. They were frozen within hours of being harvested, rather than hanging around in crates for upwards of two days. The vitamin C content is often higher in frozen vegetables compared with fresh.
  • Sometimes cheaper than the fresh counterpart, especially if it's not in season. At my supermarket, a cauliflower costs about $3. The equivalent weight in the "You'll Love Coles" frozen cauliflower costs about $2, and I can't tell the difference once it's cooked. Frozen beans and peas are usually dramatically cheaper than fresh.
  • Convenient - only take out of the package what you need and put the rest back in the freezer. No rapidly shrivelling beans or yellowing broccoli wasting away in your vegetable crisper.
  • Some veggies don't freeze well. Take lettuce for example. Or snow peas, they come out really strange. Cabbage and the asian greens like pak choi don't like being frozen either, which is why you can't buy them that way.
  • ....I dunno, it's not quite as satisfying to use frozen veggies as it is the fresh ones, but if you can't get them still screaming from your own  garden, well...
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How to cook anything: stir-fry! [Mar. 1st, 2007|06:20 am]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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This recipe is not to be followed exactly, or even roughly. It's more of a template as to how to make funky vegetables in a bowl. Serves only one. Muahahaha!!!!

First of all, decide whether your going to stick your tasty stirfry on a rice base or noodle base, or none at all. I occasionally put a single serve of hokkien in, when I'm feeling naughty. Even so, you'll usually have enough actual stirfry that you won't need bulking agents.

The next step is to decide if you'll use a bit of flavouring meat. I often use strips of chicken or occasionally beef, but only what I can get of a couple of thighs or half a breast. It's more for flavour than as a basis of the meal. At the moment I'm using prawns. They're unusually cheap and have the nifty trick of changing colour when they are cooked. You only want a handful.

Now vegetables. You want as much variety as possible. I usually put in, all chopped up small:

  • Single bok choy.
  • Half a carrot, cut using a mandolin or a large slice opening on a combo grater. It's faster that way.
  • A few baby carrots. They come in packs of ten, so the pack usually lasts a week.
  • One or two snow peas, since they are costly.
  • A few broccoli things. Not too much.
  • Half a zucchini.
  • Quarter of capsicum
  • Very small onion, or maybe a shallot if I have one.
  • Single stick of celery. Maybe nibble half of it before it goes in.
  • Anything else you feel like.

You'll also add to the pile of veg a teaspoon of garlic and a generous teaspoon of ginger. Maybe some chili, if you want.

Now you've got the meat and veges prepared, it's time for the secret sauce.

  • 2 tablespoons cornflower
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (red wine best, malt if you must, white is last resort)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (yes, I know, but it makes it Not Bitter)

Mix these up together so it forms a smooth paste.

Right, everything is ready, so we now start cooking like mad. This bit goes quickly.

A small dash of grapeseed or some other cooking oil in a wok. Not olive oil, it's too strong a flavour. Add a couple of drops of sesame oil in there as well. Wait until it gets hot, a single cube of diced onion should sizzle like mad when it's hot enough. Chuck in the veges and stir. I used to use a wooden spoon for this, until I realised it was crap. The trick is to use a proper wok shovel. Failing that, use an egg flip. You need to be able to scrape things off the sides of the wok, and turn it quickly. Keep doing this until the veges look almost but not quite cooked. Add the prawns or other meat. When they are just changing color, that is, they are nearly cooked, dump in the sauce and stir like mad. It will thicken up as the cornflour cooks. When the prawns are done and the sauce sticks to them, up end your wok into a bowl.

Finally, wash up your wok straight after finishing. If left too long, the stuff left behind becomes hard to remove.
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Nathan's Special Mexican Spice Mix [Feb. 28th, 2007|04:36 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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Can be used for anything which requires a Mexican-inspired zing.  Use it by the tablespoon, don't be shy!

1 part cayenne
1 part chilli powder
4 parts cummin seeds (or 3 parts if using pre-ground)
5 parts coriander seeds (or 3 parts if using pre-ground)
3 parts dried oregano
6 parts hot paprika
1 part cocoa
2 parts salt

Bash everything together in a mortar and pestle or Flavour Shaker (TM)  (sorry about the product placement but they really are very good) or just use all pre-ground spices and stir until well combined.  Store in an airtight jar. Works better if toasted lightly before adding other ingredients.
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Calorie Restriction for Money and Health? [Feb. 28th, 2007|04:52 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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So says the Frugal Guy

And Mike Eades

...more than once
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Mexican Style Chicken [Feb. 28th, 2007|02:34 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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You can dress this dish up or down, depending on taste, time, funds, and how you're structuring your diet. You can use it as a filling for enchiladas, burritos or fajitas (if you're not low-carbing), as a filling for an omelet, or just eat it with some shredded lettuce, cheese and sour cream out of a bowl (with a fork!). Leftovers freeze well.

Mexican Style Chicken

(two serves)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

500g chicken breast or chicken thigh fillets, no skin, sliced into thin strips. (Chicken breasts are lower in fat, but thighs are cheaper and more  moist and flavoursome)
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
half a capsicum (bell pepper), diced or in strips
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 heaped tbsp of Nathan's Special Mexican Spice Mix
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
light olive oil spray

Optional extras:
1 x 200g tin of tomatoes (useful if you want it to be more like a casserole than a tortilla filling)
jalapeno peppers or extra chillies
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen are fine)
kidney beans or refried beans (seriously not a low carb option! tasty though)

Spray a large pan lightly with olive oil. Place it over medium heat and sprinkle in the spice mix. Allow it to toast very, very gently to release the flavours. Add a little more oil spray and fry the onions and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally. Turn up the heat and add the chicken, fry until browned on all sides. Add the tomato paste and capsicum, stir until combined. Pour in the stock and the can of tomatoes if using, plus any optional extras. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired level of thickness.

Serving Options:
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
avocado or guacomole (not a low fat option!)
low fat sour cream
grated low fat cheddar or mozzarella cheese
tortillas / tacos / rice (if eating carbs)

Vital statistics:
(approximate values per serve)

Meh! Too many variables.
Cost: $2.50 - $3.50
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Variations on Moussaka [Feb. 28th, 2007|09:49 am]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

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This recipe uses low fat ricotta instead of the cheesy bechamel sauce. The variation turns the moussaka into more of a pasta-less lasagne. This is not the quickest of recipes but it makes enough for more than one meal, and it keeps well in the fridge or freezer.

Moussaka / Lasagne

(4 serves)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1 large eggplant (aubergine), cut in 1/2 cm slices
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g lamb mince / 500g beef mince
1 x 200g tin tomatoes (I use Coles Italian tomatoes because they have no added sugar)
1 tbsp tomato paste
chicken / beef stock cube (optional)
1/2 - 1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon / 2 tsp dried basil (or fresh equivalent if you have it in the garden)
1 tsp ground allspice / 2 tsp dried oregano (or fresh equivalent if you have it in the garden)
3 tsp dried parsley (or fresh equivalent if you have it in the garden)
salt & pepper
500g tub low-fat ricotta
2 tbsp grated cheese (parmesan is best)
olive oil spray

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.

Fry the mince until well browned, breaking up any lumps with the back of a spoon. Tip onto a plate covered in a thick layer of kitchen paper and leave to drain the fat. If you are really anally retentive and want to remove as much fat as possible you can rinse the meat in a colander under very hot water, but I think this would remove too much flavour.

Grill the eggplant slices either on a griddle pan lightly sprayed with oil (most successful) or under a griller/broiler until well browned. (It is important to remove as much water as possible from the eggplant otherwise you will end up with soggy moussaka. Some people like to sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and leave it for half an hour before rinsing and grilling, but I find just grilling them is quicker and just as successful if your slices are nice and thin.)

Spray a large pan with oil. Fry the onion over medium heat until just golden and translucent. Add garlic and fry briefly (do not allow to burn). Tip the pre-browned mince back into the pan along with the tinned tomatoes, spices/herbs and tomato paste and allow to fry off for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Add water and stock cube if using, and simmer slowly over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Then turn up the heat to a fast simmer to reduce the sauce. (It needs to be very thick with no liquid around it to avoid the soggy moussaka problem.) Allow to cool slightly.

Place a layer of grilled eggplant slices in the bottom of a small lasagne dish or other flat casserole. Overlap the slices a little. Add half of the meat sauce and cover with the rest of the eggplant. Add the second half of the meat sauce. Top with ricotta and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until hot all the way through and cheese is bubbling and browned.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and eating.

Vital Statistics:
(approximate values per serve)

Cost:  $2.50
Calories:  394
Fat:  20g
Carb:  13g
Protein:  39g
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Welcome! [Feb. 27th, 2007|10:45 pm]
The Lazy Bastard's Guide to Weight Loss

This is something of an experiment.

Pretty much does like it says on the tin. This community was sparked by a post by jvandenberg and is intended to become a collection of recipes, ideas, tips and most importantly, an opportunity to rant about how to get - and stay - thin and fit on a budget and with limited time. So we say "Lazy Bastard" but what we actually mean is "fat, stressed, busy, poor and somewhat disorganised bachelor."

Note that on Eat More Obscura, (or "EMO" for short, haha) bachelors are not necessarily male. Hell, you don't even have to be a bachelor. I'm not, I'm a married woman. But I think we can all relate to being fat, stressed, busy, poor and disorganised.

I would imagine that most recipes will be low carb, low-ish fat, with an emphasis on cooking fresh ingredients, without the aid of packet mixes or other frankenfoods.

Anyway, more is coming. Community guidelines and other introductory stuff can wait until we have some members. For the time being I'm going to whack up a bunch of my favourite not-too-fattening-but-quite-tasty recipes. 
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